NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced on Monday, August 14, that the agency has taken action to authorize the use of larger pedal-assist cargo bikes.
The proposed rule would expand low or no-emission options for freight deliveries–including packages and groceries–by allowing the use of pedal-assist bicycles up to 48 inches wide and with up to four wheels. The pedal-assist feature, along with the expanded width and four wheels, will make cargo bikes easier to pedal while carrying heavy loads.
Rules currently in place restrict cargo bikes to a maximum width of 36 inches with no fourth wheel. The technology of the pedal-assist feature is similar to that used by existing e-bicycle carriers, as well as on Citi Bike’s popular pedal-assist models.
The proposed rule sets out to make deliveries safer and more sustainable by reducing the number of delivery trucks on NYC streets.
“Cargo bikes have been a valuable tool in our administration’s efforts to move goods throughout the city while prioritizing street safety and our environment, and these pedal-assist cargo bikes will help New Yorkers get the items they need while reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion — and getting dangerous trucks off our streets,” said Mayor Eric Adams.
NYC DOT first launched its Commercial Cargo Bike pilot program in 2019. In 2022 they made more than 130,000 trips delivering over 5 million packages, resulting in the reduction of over 650,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
“Just two cargo bikes can replace one box truck, increasing safety and reducing CO2 emission by 14 tons per year–equivalent to 30,872 passenger car miles traveled,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.
As of August 14th a 30-day comment period has been implemented during which NYC DOT will solicit public feedback on proposal.
Members of the public may give their feedback online or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The public hearing will take place on September 13, 2023 at 10 a.m.